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A group of protoctists that are able to live photoautotrophically with the aid of cyanelles (q.v.). Glaucocystophytes are all freshwater organisms that are rarely seen in nature. The most frequently encountered species belong to the genera Glaucocytis (see illustration) and Cyanospora. C. paradoxa has provided most of the data on cyanelle DNA. These species are of interest because of the support they give to the theory of the evolution of eukaryotic cells by symbiogenesis. See Classification, Protoctista, Glaucocystophyta; serial symbiosis theory.

Glaucocystis nostochinearum. C, cyanelle; G, Golgi; M, mitochondrion with tubular cristae; N, nucleus; R, endoplasmic reticulum; S, starch granule; U, paired, short undulipodia; V, vacuole; Z, cell wall. From E. Schnepf, W. Koch, and G. Deichgraber, “Zur Cytologie und taxonomischen Einordnung von Glaucocytis.” Archiv fur Mikrobiologie 55 (1966): 151. Reproduced with permission of Springer Science and Business Media.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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